Do you still date your spouse? For many of us, after marriage comes responsibilities and burdens and less time then children and dating goes out the window. Why do we stop dating our spouse and having fun together? Today as we focus on Hope for marriage we will hear from Michelle Nietert, MA, LPC-S who will help us learn, What is date night for married couples? And how can you do it right, have fun and build a strong marriage foundation?
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What Is Date Night for Married Couples? and How to Do It Right
Most marriage counselors require you to commit to date nights when you start marriage counseling. The question comes up repeatedly ‘What is date night for married couples?’ I am astounded to this day as we continuously need to define what occurs during a date and what it looks like in our office (I am Michelle Nietert, MA, LPC-S, a professional counselor and life coach).
Our busy, often distracted culture seems to have forgotten how important the practice of dating is.
So let’s answer some of the most Frequently asked questions regarding date night in marriage.
Are date nights important in marriage?
The answer to the question ‘Are date nights important in marriage?’ is Yes. The importance of date night for married couples can not be stressed enough. Dating is – having fun together as a couple is an investment in the marital glue to hold the relationship together keeping it strong, connected and also fun!
You ask ‘What is date night for married couples?’ Dating is key to a strong marriage foundation!You ask 'What is date night for married couples?' Dating is key to a strong marriage foundation! Click To Tweet
What do couples do on a date night?
This question needs to be answered in three parts. Because understanding what a date night is for married couples starts with “What a date night is NOT for married couples”. That’s right, let’s lay some ground rules to get you on the road to a fun date night instead of fight night.
- What Not to do on a date night
- Remember what you did before you were married to have fun together
- And finally, make a plan to have regular date nights!
These are NOT what couples do on a date night
1. Date night is NOT A Child Included Activity
We’ve actually had people ask if they bring the baby or a child and put them on an electronic during date night.
The answer is No!
It’s good for your kids to miss you and you them.
Leave them with a babysitter, family member or swap with another family so you both can enjoy time away.
Parents can often struggle with an anxiety disorder or unhealthy separation anxiety.
If you aren’t able to leave your children for a few hours with a trustworthy person – you may consider this as it is a common concern when couples ask “What is date night for married couples?”
2. Date night is NOT Marriage Counseling
It’s not a place to work through problems and discuss difficult topics.
Save that for a separate meeting where you have pen and paper on hand and can bring you calmest self.
Are there issues that continuously blow up before even working on them?
Pray through them. That will connect you to the spirit. The Spirit can help you embrace the fruit of self-control or pick up some emotional self-regulation tools.
Often the topic isn’t the problem. Our approach to the problem is the problem.
3. Date Night is NOT A Family Planning Session
Leave the kid problems, chore divisions, and calendars at home and off the agenda, please.
(Be sure to Check out the Main Giveaway Page where over $2,000 in prizes will be given away throughout the event!)
4. Date Night is NOT A Regular Group Outing
We often find that couples avoid each other through Double Dates. It is fine to occasionally double date, but don’t make a regular practice of it.
On a double date, people spend money but really have fun with someone besides their spouse.
When you do make plans with another couple, drive separately (not with that other couple) to and from the destination. Intentionally sit together, hold hands, or snuggle up a little.I truly believe you are called to bring your best self to your most important relationship. Click To Tweet
How do you fall back in love with your husband? Remember how you began.
When couples come in and we address date night they start with ‘What is date night for married couples?’ but soon bring up other questions. The question comes up often ‘How do you fall back in love with your husband?’
It is important to remember the past, look back at how date night used to be. When you were first together and you planned to go on a date what did you do?
Your best self showed up. You were well-groomed, excited.
I truly believe you are called to bring this person into your marriage dates as often as you can. That doesn’t mean you have to spend a lot of money on a fancy dinner or tickets (especially if there are money issues in marriage) or that you can’t dress comfortably. You just bring your best self to your most important relationship.
I’ve learned that our appearance does affect our mood and often our behaviors.
When we know we look our best, most of us feel fantastic –, especially women.
I challenge you to put on that outfit you feel beautiful in. Spray on that glamorous scent (unless someone has allergies) and show up feeling attractive. And dare I say it? Sexy. – can we talk about Sex in a Christian Marriage?
In 1 Corinthians 10:31, Scripture calls us “…whether we eat or drink…” to “do it all for the glory of God” (NIV).
I truly believe dating is no exception. If you are a person of faith, I encourage you to ask, “How could God be glorified in our dating life?”
Date Night for Married Couples is as Easy as 1 – 2 – 3!
That’s right, date night does not have to be complicated or expensive. In fact, the more simple date night is the more likely you will make it a regular part of your routine. ‘What is a date night for Married couples?’ is answered in 3 simple DO’s.I’ve learned that our appearance does affect our mood and often our behaviors. When we know we look our best, most of us feel fantastic –, especially women. Click To Tweet
Date Night is A Romantic Encounter
Yes, date night should be a romantic encounter between two people designed to increase attraction, intimacy, and closeness.
One of my favorite ways to describe intimacy is ‘Into Me See’.
Dating allows us the chance to go beyond discussing the mundane details of our lives.
We can share our heart desires, dreams, passions and interests. These are some great date night topics for married couples.
(During the Hope for Marriage event they are Free in the Welcome Gift)
Often, child-rearing, parent caregiving, or anything can overtake your personal development. That can result in something you as one party in the dating process needs to address.
Our center always includes an individual component in couples counseling because we know two strong “I’s” make a strong “we.”
You will love these 10 ways to be more passionate in your marriage today!
And I highly recommend Boundaries in Marriage training by John Townsend and Henry Cloud.
Date Night is Fun!!
At least it should be.
Dating should not be an obligation. It should be a chance for two people to let loose, do what they love.
For the sheer pleasure of bonding and memory-making, experience something new together. Keep a list of romantic things to do with your husband so you aren’t scrambling for ideas last minute. Google activities for ‘married couples to do together near me’ or ‘date night ideas for married couples at home’ to get you started if you are out of the habit of having fun 😉 .
Date Night is A Regularly Schedule Event
Let me rephrase that. Date Night should be a regularly scheduled event between a husband and a wife.
Yes, it would be great if this could happen spontaneously but in an over-scheduled world, what we don’t make a priority on calendars, rarely occurs.
My husband and I intentionally plan dates at least two times a month and try and add a third one into the mix.
When we get a couple in our offices who haven’t been on a date in months and ask ‘What is Date Night for Married Couples’, we know there is a problem in priorities.
There are usually problems bonding. Or someone isn’t sharing their true self and often avoiding a difficult marriage or spouse.
Rejoice in your Spouse to heal bonding issues in Marriage
Proverbs 5:18 reminds us “May your fountain be blessed, and may you rejoice in the wife of your youth.” (NIV)
Now we weren’t very young when we took the plunge (we were in our 30’s) but I believe this scripture implies a blessing that occurs when we rejoice in our spouses.
Are there bonding issues in your marriage? Are you having trouble rejoicing in them?
I encourage you for the next 30 days to daily write down 3 distinct things you enjoy and appreciate about your spouse. Words of affirmation are the best gift you can give you husband because they show respect
Maybe start small by Planning a date night at home
I even dare you to express your gratitude verbally or in writing. There is a handy sheet of 30 Ways to Appreciate your Husband I’d love to give you to help you get started.
How To Do Date Night Right: What is Date Night for Married Couples?
We started the article with a question. What is Date Night for married couples? We’ve answered that in 5 parts.
- Understand the importance of date night for married couples – to have fun and bond – building a strong marriage foundation.
- Recognize the Don’ts of Date Night
- Remember how you had fun in the past on date nights
- Include all the DO’s of Date Night
- Rejoice in your Spouse to help bonding troubles
Date night does not have to be complicated or expensive. I challenge you to pick one area to try this week.
Who knows? It just might lead to better dates, hot sex, and maybe a happier man and woman.
I’d love to hear your tips for great date nights and how you make time for your marriage relationship in the comments below.
Sharing these ideas helps all of us find more adventure. It encourages all of us to make dating a priority.
A professional counselor and life coach, Michelle Nietert, MA,LPC-S, has been speaking to audiences in the community, schools, and churches locally, nationally, and internationally for more than 20 years. She brings the same energetic, informative style to every opportunity, whether speaking to a small group or keynoting conferences of over 1,000 attendees.
As an owner of a large center in Dallas, Michelle‘s most requested topics combine mental health and faith. With a background as a state-ranked competitive speaker in high school, Michelle is passionate about equipping others to impact our world by sharing God‘s truth and inspiration in practical ways. She has also presented training on beginning your speaking ministry to writing groups both in person and virtually. Her audiences often remark on her passion for God’s word, laughter often in the midst of tears, and ability to share the joy she experiences daily.
Michelle has two children, ages 8 and 11, both of whom have begun competitive speaking in their local schools, with her daughter Sophia pursuing writing children’s books. She has been happily married to her husband Drew, who travels as a healthcare consultant, for over 15 years.
Michelle’s writing has been published nationally in Lifeway’s Parent Life magazine and on the MOPS blog. She is currently with the Blythe Daniel agency, and is scheduled to potentially publish two books in 2020.
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